Ed Fraughton

Gandy Dancer

This depiction of an early railroad worker, then-called "gandy dancers", was created by the artist to honor Irish immigrant laborers who contributed so greatly to the western expansion of the First Transcontinental Railroad in 1869. The figure shown balances on two railroad ties while holding a segment of track. The strain in his hand tendons and contracted muscles in his back indicate the heavy weight of the segment and the difficulty of the work in general.